Fancy a tipple? Take a cocktail tour of Kuala Lumpur

Cocktail tour

What’s your cocktail of choice? Source: Wine Dharma / Unsplash

COCKTAILS have transformed from brightly colored, umbrella-wearing mixtures, into signature must-haves for every chic bar.

Contemporary cocktails consist of fresh ingredients such as petals and herbs infused with classically aged whiskey bourbons, dry gins and any other spirit highly trained mixologists want to throw in there.

The result: a sip so delicious, you just must have another.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s shining capital city, is home to some of Asia’s coolest cocktails bars.

If you only know where to look, this delightful metropolis is brimming with a variety of watering holes. Whether it’s the extravagantly fitted parlors serving only the most premium of spirits or the quaint little speakeasy joints tucked away in alleyways, each one entices you to adorn your best frock for a night out on the town.

Thirsty? Then we suggest you go get that thirst quenched at the joints below. It is Fri-yay after all.

Omakase + Appreciate

Winner of the Most Creative Cocktail Bar award at The Bar Awards Kuala Lumpur, and Number 10 on Asia’s Best Bars list, Omakase + Appreciate is a place that could easily be missed, but shouldn’t be.

The door to the bar looks like one only janitors would enter. However, if you stroll through the rows of diners at Ming Annex to the door at the back, you’ll find yourself in Omakase + Appreciate.

The Omakase practice means, “I’ll leave it to you”, so the bartenders here are happy to whip you up a treat based on your tastes.

However, if you fancy trying something a little different, we suggest the Lava Hawthorn: Bacardi, lavender honey water, red date hawthorn syrup and sweet vermouth.

Are you licking your lips?

  • Address: 9, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
  • Price: Average US$10 (MYR40)
  • Dress code: Casual cocktail soiree

Botak Liquor

Embodying the modern fresh-ingredients ethos, Botak Liquor prides itself on the concept of farm-to-glass.

Each of the botanical ingredients is collected straight from the farm and brought to the bar for patrons to sample.

One of the most impressive cocktails which also perfectly illustrates the focus on botanical ingredients in the Limau purtu and carrot cocktail.

Offering sippers sublime tastes by infusing pineapple pisco, kaffir lime, carrot juice and house-made Botak hot sauce.

Likened to a fruity and delicious tom yum, without the seafood.

If you want something a little more traditional, but with the same herbivore approach, try the sweet pea and elderflower cocktail – unaged whiskey, sweet peas, organic elderflower cordial and lemon.

Even if you’re not a drinker, head along with the beautiful décor of draping flora and handmade benches.

  • Address: 156 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, 50000 
  • Price: Average US$10 (MYR40)
  • Dress code: Casual and airy

PS150

If you’re a cocktail buff and want to further expand your knowledge, head to PS150, a cocktail tavern hidden in the middle of a Toy Shop – not very PG right?

The bar is lit by red Chinese lanterns, lending it a sort of shabby-chic feel. While it’s not exactly a speakeasy bar as the luminous sign outside tells you where to go, it certainly does give off secretive and exclusive vibes, perfect for date night.

Moving out of out of the dimly- lit and aptly-named Opium Den, guests can experience the Tiki space in an open-air courtyard which is great for bigger groups.

If you’re looking for a fruity number, opt for the Lychee No.3 made up of London dry gin, lychee, ginger flower and lime.

  • Address: 156 Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, 50000
  • Price: Average US$10 (MYR40)
  • Dress code: Casual and airy

Three X Co

Now, this bar is as about as speakeasy as it gets.

But don’t worry, we are going to speak of it, to make it easy to find.

Three X Co can be found in another part of Bangsar Shopping Centre on the third floor next to pop-up barbershop, Othrs.

You’ll need to pull the wall panel next to it covered in Muhammad Ali posters to gain access – but that’s all part of the fun.

The dimly lit bar will transport you back to an era of great glamour with deep green walls, Chesterfield style sofas, and beautifully cut class.

We recommend trying the Three X Co’s take on a traditional Old Fashioned. Watch as your bartender mixes Kraken spiced rum, Malaysian gula Melaka – a sweetener made from coconut palm sugar – and chocolate bitters.

  • Address: Level 3, Bangsar Shopping Center, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur, 59000
    Price: Average US$15 (MYR60)
  • Dress code: Smart and chic

W.I.P

Moving far away from speakeasy bars, but still in the same building as Three X Co, W.I.P (Whipped into shape), offers quest an uber-chilled atmosphere to sip a wide range of cocktails.

The restaurant and bar venue have just undergone an elegant facelift making the surroundings as Instagrammable as the divine cocktails.

Our favorite is the sugarcane sweetened strawberry mojito. The delicate berry is perfectly complemented with Cuban rum, fresh mint leaves and a squeeze of ripe lime.

But if you’re sweet enough and prefer something packing a punch, opt for the sophisticated apple martini. The blend of honeyed apple liquor and dry Vermouth makes for an irresistible drink.

The modern tentacle-like bar provides plenty of seating space and the outdoor areas make for the ideal place to dust off your dancing legs and groove to some funky beats.

  • Address: Lot G111, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre, 285, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandar Raya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Price: Average US$7 (MYR30)
  • Dress code: Cool casual